Thursday, June 16th saw the first full release of Singularity in almost two years, with version 188.8.131.5261being offered for download.
As the release notes explain, the delay in updates for the viewer have been due to a number of reasons – not the least of which was the sad passing of Latif Khalifa (to whom this release is dedicated), and also the departure of one of the viewers core developers for pastures new. There have also be various infrastructure and hardware issues which have frustrated attempts at update.
The new release is currently for Windows 32-bit and 64-bit, and Linux 64-bit only, The team hopes to get the Mac version back on track as well, and are currently seeking a Mac developer to help with this.
Given the length of time since the last full release, there have obviously been a lot of changes, including getting back towards parity with many of the Lab’s own updates, as well as singularity’s own bug fixes and the adoption of elements from Alchemy.
As usual, I don’t propose giving an in-depth review of all the changes to the viewer here, but will attempt to highlight some of the more significant.
Tool Chain Update
Perhaps the most significant change with this release is under-the-hood. Singularity is now built using the latest tools and libraries recommended by Linden Lab. For Windows, this means that with the 1.8.7 release, the viewer no longer supports Windows XP. It also means that when the Mac version of the viewer is updated, Singularity will no longer support anything earlier than OSX 10.7 going forward.
TLS 1.2 Support
Singularity 1.8.7 is TLS 1.2 complaint, meaning you can use the built-in web browser to make LindeX transactions or SL marketplace purchases if you so wish.
The Lab’s Hover Height functionality has been added to the Singularity Quick Pref panel (click the
UP arrow button, lower right-hand corner of the viewer window). As per the official Hover Height it works to a range of +/- 2 metres.
Independent of Hover Height, but a little similar in nature and so worth mentioning here is a new /hover command, which is described as “supporting values of -50 through 50”, however, during testing on Aditi, I found that the maximum height by which I was moved was around 5 metres, regardless of anything set above that. I therefore assume the release notes should read “supporting values of -5.0 through 5.0” – although admittedly I’ve not referred this back to the Singularity developers for confirmation.
Other Lab-Driven Updates
- Latest inventory protocol (AISv3) support has been merged in to maintain future SL inventory handling compatibility
- QtWebkit browser has been replaced with a Chromium variant
- The SLVoice plug-in (Vivox) has been updated to parity with the SL viewer
- Server-Side Baking (avatar appearance has been updated
- Avatar rendering information is now reported to the simulator (although the local complexity limit slider has not been implemented in Preferences > Graphics) so this is not a full Avatar Complexity implementation).
Input and Camera
For combat enthusiasts, Preferences > Input and Camera includes two new options:
- Display targeted avatar’s name under the crosshair
- Display position and avatar health (your own avatar, in damage-enabled regions)
Communication Chat Preferences Updates
- Preferences > Communications: you can now select which conference calls to accept / block (Accept all, accept Friends Only, Block all)
- Preferences > Adv. Chat > Chat UI allows you to select displaying user names, display name, display name with user names or user names with display names from a drop-down list
- Preferences > Adv. Chat > Autoresponse now splits auto response options into separate sub-tabs. Also, autoresponse options can now be selected via the World menu > Status sub-menu
- Adv Chat > Spam includes a new option to block LM offers.